CAMP X-RAY Review

by     Posted 6 days ago

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[Note: This is a re-post of my Camp X-Ray review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The movie opens in limited release this weekend.]

In Camp X-Ray, writer/director Peter Sattler attempts to chronicle life at Guantanamo Bay through the eyes of a young female private, played by Kristen Stewart.  It’s touchy subject matter for sure, and though Guantanamo Bay has been no stranger to controversy, there are plenty of avenues worth exploring.  While the film features a compelling central relationship between the aforementioned young private and a foreign detainee, it too often veers into melodrama or goes for the easy cliché, making for somewhat of a mixed bag.  Read my full review after the jump.

Robert Redford in Talks to Star in Disney’s PETE’S DRAGON

by     Posted One week ago

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Nearly everything about Disney’s Pete’s Dragon remake has pretty unexpected.  First, the studio enlisted David Lowery—the director behind the Terrence Malick-esque crime film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints—to take the helm instead of some studio-friendly journeyman.  Now the studio is surprising once again with its first big cast member, as word comes that Robert Redford is in talks to take on a pivotal role in the picture, which will live-action save for CG effects that will bring the titular dragon to life.  Hit the jump for more on the Pete’s Dragon remake, including how much the story will differ from the 1977 iteration.

TOP FIVE Trailer: Chris Rock Writes, Directs, and Stars in Cameo-Filled New Comedy

by     Posted One week ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Top Five trailer for the upcoming comedy from writer, director, and star Chris Rock.  The comedian plays a loosely fictionalized version of himself in the film, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind.  The picture was the highest profile acquisition of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount paying a whopping $12.5 million in a bidding war to acquire the distribution rights to the film.  The movie looks a little like Chris Rock’s Funny People, as it takes some digs at his own career path, and there are a ton of cameos from a wide range of familiar faces.

Hit the jump to watch the Top Five trailer and click here to read Phil’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by Questlove.

First Footage from Disney’s New Animated Short FEAST Will Make You Hungry

by     Posted One week ago

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The first footage from Disney’s upcoming animated short Feast has landed online, and it’s bound to make you quite hungry.  Per the official logline, “The story of one man’s love life is seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.”  The dog is absolutely adorable in this footage, as he seems to be on a quest to eat each and every delicious thing he comes across.  Director Patrick Osborne’s animation style is also highly impressive, and I look forward to enjoying the full short when it’s attached to Big Hero 6.

Hit the jump to watch the Feast trailer, and click here to read our interview with Osborne.  The short will play in front of Disney’s Big Hero 6 when it opens in theaters on November 7th.

Head to Space with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in 7 New INTERSTELLAR Images

by     Posted One week ago

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A collection of new Interstellar images from director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi epic have landed online, hot on the heels of some pretty interesting comments from Nolan himself saying the film marks a specifically unique entry in his filmography.  Nolan wrote the screenplay for Interstellar based on a previous draft by his brother, Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), and the story finds a crew of astronauts led by Matthew McConaughey setting off into deep space in order to find a new planet that might be habitable.  There seems to be plenty of culturally relevant themes at play here, as Interstellar’s Earth is one that has been rendered uninhabitable after years of pollution and destruction at the hands of, well, us.  Most interestingly, though, is the fact that Nolan is essentially telling a father/daughter story, and I’m curious to see how he grounds the film with this strong emotional center.

Hit the jump to take a look a these new Interstellar images, which thankfully don’t reveal too much.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey AffleckMichael CaineDavid OyelowoWes BentlyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothee Chalamet, and Matt Damon.  Interstellar opens on film in 70mm IMAX and 35mm on November 5th and everywhere else on November 7th.

JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS Release Date Set for October 23, 2015; CYBERNATURAL Opens April 10, 2015

by     Posted One week ago

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The Jem and the Holograms movie release date has been announced by Universal Pictures.  The studio will drop the feature film adaptation based on the 1980s Hasbro toy line and cartoon on October 23, 2015, hitting theaters just in time for Fall.  Director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) helms the quickly assembled musical adventure film, which paints the titular Jem as an orphaned teenager who becomes an internet sensation and subsequently embarks on a music-driven scavenger hunt with her bad.  The picture is a Blumhouse Productions joint, which is mostly known for producing low budget horror films like the Paranormal Activity series and Sinister that go on to turn a big profit.  The PG-rated Jem was similarly made on a relatively tight budget, with a cast led by Aubrey Peeples (Nashville) as Jem, Stefanie Scott (Flipped) as Kimber, Hayley Kiyoko (The Fosters) as Aja, and Aurora Perrineau (Pretty Little Liars) as Shana.

Hit the jump for more on the film and a new release date for the curious horror film Cybernatural

Dean DeBlois Talks HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 and Potential Spinoffs; Says He’s Talked Jeffrey Katzenberg Down from the Idea of DRAGON 4

by     Posted One week ago

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The How to Train Your Dragon franchise is a bit of an anomaly in the DreamWorks Animation filmography.  Jeffrey Katzenberg’s company carved out its signature style with Shrek, a sweet yet slightly cynical, self-aware family film with a handful of jokes that only the adults may understand.  But 2009’s How to Train Your Dragon was an unabashedly cynicism-free feature that was deeply compassionate in nature and epic in scope.  That tone continued in this summer’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, once again under the direction of Dean DeBlois, and the Dragon films have enjoyed not only critical but also commercial success at the box office.

It was announced shortly after the first film’s release that there would be a trilogy of Dragon films, and when I spoke with composer John Powell this summer he said that Katzenberg had recently brought up the prospect of a How to Train Your Dragon 4.  I recently spoke with DeBlois in anticipation of the Blu-ray release of Dragon 2, and he took some time to talk about the story for How to Train Your Dragon 3, saying it will be more Tootheless-centric, and he said he thinks he’s talked Katzenberg down from expanding the franchise to a fourth film, though he doesn’t rule out the possibility of spinoffs.  Much more after the jump.

New to Blu-ray: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, FARGO Season 1, Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection, and More

by     Posted 8 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include one of the biggest superhero movies of the year, two very popular—and very different—cable TV series, a collection of Steven Spielberg films, a Ben Stiller comedy classic, and more.  Briefly:

Warner Bros. Courting Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, and Margot Robbie for SUICIDE SQUAD

by     Posted 8 days ago

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The superhero news just keeps on coming today.  Earlier this morning, Warner Bros. unveiled its full slate of DC Comics adaptations through the year 2020.  One of the more surprising revelations was that the superhero pic set to follow the release of the sure-to-be-massive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be Suicide Squad, with Fury and End of Watch helmer David Ayer set to direct.  That release date is set for August 5, 2016, and so as Ayer gets to work on the script, the studio is starting to think about casting—and boy are they aiming high.  The actors that are reportedly being courted to lead this new DC film are Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Tom Hardy.  More after the jump.

Ryan Gosling Mulling Franchise Role as He Eyes DOCTOR STRANGE, HOUDINI, and SUICIDE SQUAD

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Thus far, Ryan Gosling has managed to enjoy a successful career without starring in any franchise or studio tentpole films.  His taste has varied nevertheless, ranging from moody dramas like Half Nelson and Drive to lighter films like Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Lars and the Real Girl.  Gosling is currently gearing up to start filming writer/director Shane Black’s 1970s crime noir The Nice Guys opposite Russell Crowe, but the actor’s no-franchise status may soon be changing.  Gosling is reportedly mulling over the possibility of starring in one of a trio of high-profile studio films: Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Summit’s The Secret Life of Houdini, and Warner Bros.’ DC Comics adaptation Suicide Squad.  More after the jump.

Chris Hemsworth Battles a White Whale in First IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Images from Ron Howard’s Drama

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first In the Heart of the Sea images from director Ron Howard’s upcoming drama.  Based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s excellent book of the same name, the film tells the story of the whaling ship Essex, which in 1819 was rammed by an angry whale in the South Pacific.  The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism.  It’s a heartwrenching true story, and it served as the basis for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.  Howard’s fantastic cast is led by Chris Hemsworth as the ship’s first mate, Tom Holland as a young cabin boy who eventually tells his tale to Melville once he’s an adult, and Benjamin Walker as Captain George Pollard Jr.  All of the actors lost a significant amount of weight for the film.  Philbrick’s book is positively enthralling, and after Howard’s swell Rush, I’m really looking forward to seeing how he brings Heart of the Sea to life.

Hit the jump to check out the first In the Heart of the Sea images, and check back on Collider soon to watch the first trailer.  The film also stars Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, and Jordi MollaIn the Heart of the Sea opens in theaters on March 13, 2015.

Neil Patrick Harris to Host the 2015 Oscars

by     Posted 8 days ago

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The host for the 2015 Oscars has been chosen, and it’s a mighty fine choice.  Neil Patrick Harris has been tapped to host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015, ensuring that there will likely be at least one highly enjoyable musical number during the telecast.  Harris has plenty of experience hosting these kinds of ceremonies, having hosted the Tony Awards numerous times and the Emmy Awards this past year.  Ellen Degeneres hosted this past Oscar ceremony to positive results, but apparently she was apprehensive about accepting the gig and didn’t want to return for the 2015 Oscars.

Harris is a fantastic showman and so I’m very pleased by this news.  Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are returning to produce for the third time in a row (sigh), but they’ve found themselves an excellent frontman.  Harris is extremely charismatic and funny, and he also might find himself appearing in one of the Best Picture nominees if Gone Girl takes off with the Academy.  Check out NPH’s video confirmation of the news after the jump.

Filming Begins on Richard Linklater’s THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT; Logo Revealed

by     Posted 8 days ago

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As Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking Boyhood looks poised to be a serious awards contender this year, the director has already started production on his next film.  That’s What I’m Talking About is Linklater’s long-developed “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, which takes place over the course of a single weekend in the 1980s and revolves around a college freshman and pitcher for the baseball team.  As with Dazed and Confused, the cast is made up of largely new faces—Blake Jenner (Glee) and Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) are the leads—but also like Dazed and Confused, we could be looking back on this one in ten years and saying, “Man, everybody is in this movie!”

Today marks the second day of production on That’s What I’m Talking About, and to mark the occasion producer Megan Ellison shared an image of the film’s logo on Twitter.  Unsurprisingly, it’s delightfully 80s.  Take a look after the jump.  The film also stars Zoey Deutch, Will Brittain, and Glen Powell.

Christian Bale in Talks to Play Steve Jobs for Director Danny Boyle; Will Delay DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY

by     Posted 8 days ago

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It appears that the first actor that was mentioned in connection with Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic may be the one that comes away with the role.  David Fincher was initially flirting with the idea of reteaming with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin on the project, but the filmmaker would reportedly only sign on if Christian Bale played the genius innovator.  Fincher’s deal with Sony never materialized and he walked away from the project, with Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire helmer Danny Boyle subsequently signing on to direct.  Another reteaming started to bubble as Leonardo DiCaprio considered signing on to the project, but we recently learned that he opted to depart due to the short amount of time he would have to prepare after wrapping The Revenant.

While names like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were mentioned as possible replacements, things have come full circle as Bale is currently in negotiations to take on the role.  More after the jump.

Tuesday TV Ratings: MARRY ME Starts Strong; THE FLASH and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Dip

by     Posted 8 days ago

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TV ratings for Tuesday, October 14th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • NBC aired one of the best new comedies of the season, Marry Me, which premiered to a strong 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 7.76 million viewers.  Elsewhere on the network, About a Boy premiered to a 1.8 rating and 6.16 million viewers, and Chicago Fire was down 5% to a 2.0 rating and 7.18 million viewers.
  • Over on ABC, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (read Evan Valentine’s recap here) continued its streak of hitting new lows, as last night’s episode fell 6% to a series low 1.6 rating and scored 4.62 million viewers.  Selfie was down 17% to a 1.0 rating and 3.52 million viewers, Manhattan Love Story matched alst week’s 0.9 rating and scored 2.96 million viewers, and Forever fell 15% to a 1.1 rating and 4.68 million viewers.
  • The CW’s The Flash (read Dave’s recap here) dipped 16% from last week’s premiere to a 1.6 rating and 4.12 million viewers, which is still solid for the network.  Supernatural was down 9% to a 1.0 rating and 2.2 million viewers.
  • Fox’s New Girl (which was actually really good last night) dropped 14% to a 1.2 rating and 2.26 million viewers while The Mindy Project matched last week’s 1.0 rating and scored 2.21 million viewers.
  • CBS’ NCIS was down 4% to a 2.5 rating and 17.09 million viewers, NCIS: New Orleans was down 4% to a 2.2 rating and 15.9 million viewers, and Person of Interest fell to a series low 1.5 rating and 9.73 million viewers.
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